Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Happy New Year!

My Wish for 2012: Kale for Everyone!

2012! It's time to get serious about good (sustainable, healthy, humane) food, people. 

Here are a few great links to recommit you to better eating, and better purchasing, in the coming year:

  • The Grist Food Recaps of 2011: The Good Food News (yes, there was some!). And the Bad Food News (yes, there was more of this type). Just remember, as Thoreau said, "Things don't change. We change." Go make the difference in 2012.
  • GMO production: Want to know what a GMO crop is and how it's created? This scientifically understandable little video helps explain the evolution of genetically modified crops and what exactly you are putting into your body when you eat one.
  • Diane Rehm show on WAMU-DC: Tuesday's Diane Rehm show featured a great panel discussing GMO labeling and food products. Download the podcast on your iPod and listen to it while you meet that exercise resolution. Then, go sign the petition to get GMO foods labeled in America.
  • A look back at the food politics scene in 2011: I believe pieces like this are important. We need to understand the relationship between government and Big Food/Agricultural companies. Although it would be nice to trust the government has the consumer's best interests at heart, this isn't always the case. (For a glimpse back at the Michelle Obama Let's Move program, in particular, check out this recap.)
  • Marion Nestle predicts the future: The witty and informative Nestle gives a somewhat bleak picture of the food politics landscape in 2012. 
  • BigAg tries to get all touchy-feely: Check out how large food corporations are now trying marketing that makes them look like small farmers. Educate yourself so you're not fooled by these sneaky tactics. 
  • Barry Estabrook's (From) Where's the Beef?: A brief look at two very different types of operations for raising cattle for slaughter. Where would you prefer your meat came from?
  • The Zombie Burger from McD's: A fun (but not funny) article about a woman who's been keeping a McDonald's cheeseburger on her counter for over a year. And it hasn't changed a bit. Yick.
  • Mark Bittman's column in this weekend's New York Times Magazine: A great collection of easy, semi-vegan meals to help improve your eating in 2012 in both a nutritionally and environmentally sound way. I'm looking forward to trying the Bean Burgers, Tomato-Rice Soup and that little Chickpea-Spinach number.
  • A couple of other big and recent new stories: Shortages are beginning to be seen on organic milk. Look for more on this in coming days. Also, the FDA has quietly backed down on trying to prevent antibiotic use in livestock. This debate isn't over though. An appearance in a higher court may be imminent. 
  • Incentivizing the use of SNAP dollars: This is an issue close to my heart, since I work mostly with populations struggling to make ends meet. Ideas like this to level the playing field of healthy food access are always of interest to me.  
  • NYC Farmer's Market EBT/SNAP usage up 23%: In the same vein, here's an uplifting little segment on how NYC markets are drawing larger crowds of food stamp/SNAP users. 
Speaking of which...
I'm currently working with a few other DC food justice folks to organize a screening of Food Stamped, a  documentary getting some great buzz on Twitter and listservs. I believe raising awareness about the difficulties of eating nutritionally on a budget is important for all demographics to truly generate change.

What are your food related goals and resolutions for 2012?